SAN FRANCISCO (CBS Sports) – It was only a few years ago that the NFC West was the laughingstock of the National Football League, with Seattle snatching a division title in 2010 despite a 7-9 record. The situation was so unsightly that suggestions of altering the playoff seeding system became an off-season talking point.
Contrast that to now, as executives from other divisions fear three teams from the resurgent NFC West — Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis — will reach the postseason.
The rapid ascent is hardly a quirk. It’s not been a fluke at all. In fact, several key common denominators are present in the rise of these clubs, which are born of a paradigm in which an aggressive, first-time general manager was paired with an experienced head coach who had pretty much seen it all before.
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